Rather smugly I thought I had swerved all the colds and flu’s quite successfully this year but finally a bug got me! After a recent unpleasant chest infection it’s been a joy to rediscover my taste buds and the pleasure of mindful eating once again.
So, how do you lose weight while you eat?
Mindful eating isn’t just for yoga retreats and it’s not restricted simply to the actual eating of a meal either. You can start mindful eating anytime. From the moment you plan your next meal to the shopping, selection and preparation of a dish. All of it can be done mindfully.
The reality is we can only think of one thing at a time and when we so-call multi-task, we’re really just diluting the other thing(s) that we’re aiming to do. So have a shot at being mindful of your next meal.
Mindful Eating… here’s how:
Slow down. Breathe and focus your attention inward for a moment and ask yourself
“What do I want, what do I need to eat that is healthy and will satisfy all my taste buds?”
Keep repeating this question slowly to yourself until the answers begin to bubble up. You can also add… “that is easy and quick to prepare” or… “ that will give me lots of energy and vitality”
Trust your mind and what it knows.
At a deeper level your mind is processing millions of bits of information every second, you absolutely have some good quality answers to these pertinent questions so trust your mind and it will serve you well. As the thoughts surface you might find it’s often the first two or three ideas that are the most helpful.
Shopping for food:
Aim to spend a few moments really looking at the produce, touch it if possible, check in and sense if you’re choosing well for yourself or are you making a hasty choice because you’ve left it until you’re hungry? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
When preparing the food:
Think of cooking something simple like an omelette, take a moment to feel the eggs between your fingers, notice how it feels to break the shells, observe the colour of the yolk. Now spend a moment thinking about the chicken that laid it and the people involved in the food chain that brought it to you.
Notice the movement of your hand as you whisk the eggs catching air into the mixture and how it feels to slowly pour it into the pan. Can you see the moment when the colour change? Watch how it slides out of the pan onto the plate. Catch the aroma in your nostrils and as you breathe it in, does it create a reaction in your mouth or your stomach?
This might sound a bit time consuming but the fact is you’re probably thinking something whilst you’re cooking anyway, so why not think about what you’re doing to the exclusion of all else?
You might just notice something of importance to you. You might decide to buy different eggs next time because the yolk looked too pale for example and the source of your eggs might be something for you to re-consider.
Finally, when actually eating your meal even if it’s a just a sandwich, aim to do so peacefully, eat in silence, free from distractions, so no radio, TV, phone or computer. Smell your food and notice any physiological reactions, such as the increase of saliva in your mouth before you start eating. As you take the first mouthful how does your gut react?
This may sound laborious but it’s just different, it actually increases the pleasure of eating and the possibility of weight loss!
After a silent meal during one of my yoga days a student told me “I noticed how fast I was eating and slowed myself down, usually I would have eaten a lot more but strangely I felt as if I’d had enough to eat even before I’d finished!”
According to the World Health Organisation in 2016 almost 40% of men and women were overweight. Along with a plethora of other reasons mindless eating has to play a part in this epidemic. It’s probably no surprise to know that many people start losing weight when eating mindfully. Give it a go and share your story with us here at thestresshacker.com to inspire others.
We’ve given thestresshacker homepage a new look and as part of launching that we’re offering a 25% discount to the unique online course Mindful Weight Loss the code NEWYOU will only be active for one week so grab yours while it lasts.
Thanks for reading.